The Dany Heatley saga has taken on a new twist today.
In a few NHL circles, people are saying that Heatley is being forced by both the Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers to make a decision about waiving his no-trade clause over the course of the next day. Look, at this point he ain't going to Edmonton otherwise it would have been done by now. The longer this whole scenario has gone on, the less likely that the Oilers would even want this guy on their team. Why would you want a selfish jerk on your team if you are Oilers management? How do you sell Heatley to your fans and most of all your loyal season ticket holders? The guy has flat out refused on more than one occasion that he doesn't want to play in Edmonton so how could management or even Heatley spin it to show everyone that he genuinely wants to be in Edmonton? I am sure everyone, including myself that the Oilers rumours would just end at this point.
As first reported here back before the NHL Entry Draft, the NY Rangers deal to land Heatley was 95% done and everyone involved thought it was done. That was until Sens GM Bryan Murray tried to get more out of the Rangers for Heatley. He went against the “code” and released the names of the potential deal with Edmonton hoping to use it as leverage against the Rangers. Unfortunately for Mr. Murray, he messed up BIG time and Rangers GM Glen Sather pulled his deal off the table and said he wouldn't pursue the high priced winger anymore out of principle due to what Murray had done to the Oilers. It's no surprise that Sather's ties to the Oilers organization had alot to do with it. Sather didn't want to see longtime friend Kevin Lowe get burned, nor did he like to see Oilers management have to deal with Murray's shady tactics. At some point, the Rangers might get desperate again and jump back into the Heatley sweepstakes. They originally offered defensemen Ryan McDonagh who Ottawa asked for before the Gomez deal was completed along Ryan Callahan and Michael Del Zotto. NY recently signed Callahan to a new contract but had held out hoping he would be Ottawa and the Sens would get a new deal done at that point for him. As well, it would take nothing for the Rangers to bury Wade Redden's contract in the AHL with their affiliate in Hartford. This has been talked about quite alot over the past few weeks with Rangers management due to…….surprise Sens fans….Redden's poor play.
Teams that are interested in Heatley's services and have the necessary cap space are the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets. Both teams have talked to Murray on numerous occasions and as I stated here in a blog two weeks ago, Dallas could be the darkhorse in the Heatley chase. I have been told by numerous sources that they would be extremely surprised if San Jose could make the necessary moves to bring in Heatley's contract. Meanwhile, the Stars would like to keep Brad Richards and not have to include him in any deal. James Neal would be the focal point of any deal involving Dallas, while Derek Brassard is the player the Sens covet if they were to swing a deal with Columbus. Don't kid yourself on the Jackets, GM Scott Howsen has told Rick Nash he will do everything possible to get his Team Canada linemate in a Jackets uniform.
Staying with the Rangers, again….as first reported back here on June 26th, NY wants to walk away from Nikolai Zherdev. He has gone to arbitration and once the arbitrator comes back with a contract number, at that time the Rangers will not accept the ruling, therefore making him an unrestricted free agent. Watch for the Oilers to make a push for Zherdev. Lastly in NY, Derek Morris will be looking for a new team as there is no interest in bringing him back to the Big Apple.
New York will once again make a push for Phoenix Coyotes defensemen Ed Jovanovksi. He has two years left on his deal and has a no-trade clause. Even though Jovo built a new house in Scottsdale a little over a year ago, NY is the one team he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for.
The Rangers are interested in the services of Sens free-agent defensemen Brendan Bell along with the LA Kings. Both teams are making a big push for Bell's services. Bell would want a one-way deal and could help either team on both the powerplay and bring some solid depth on the blueline. Here is hoping Bell winds up in a great situation for the coming season.
With regards to the Coyotes off the ice, having Darren Pang leave the team on the TV side of things to sign in St. Louis as their new colour analyst, it has me wondering if head coach Wayne Gretzky will be back. Gretzky and Pang are very close, so with this move one has to wonder if Pang knows a thing or two about Gretzky's future in Phoenix. I highly doubt Pang would have left Phoenix if he knew Gretzky would be returning. As well, Pang was extremely happy working with Ed Strader on the Coyotes telecasts. It could clear the way for former Coyote Tyson Nash to take on those colour analyst duties.
I apologize for not getting the Sens development camp player evaluation's up last week. I will do so in the next 48 hours in my next blog. If anything breaks between now and then on Heatley, I will be sure to be back with an update on anything I am hearing.
As always, if you want to reach me feel free to contact me at email@example.com
About the Author
Written by Kevin Lee
Kevin has had an extensive career as a sports writer and radio show host for almost 10 years. Kevin has covered the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA College Football and Basketball. From covering the BCS Championship Game to the Final Four and the Stanley Cup Finals, he has done it all. He has been featured on numerous sports radio stations in Canada and the United States and often a weekly guest on numerous XM and Sirius Satellite radio shows. He has also had his work featured on FoxSports.com.